Soroptimist International Ipoh’s project, Edufun Centre, was selected to represent Malaysia at the South-West Pacific Conference of Clubs in Kuching, Sarawak from May 2 to 5.
Beating 13 other clubs in the country, SI Ipoh would vie for the Conference’s Best Practice Award, pitting itself against four other clubs from the South-West Pacific region, whose projects too reflect the theme, “Uniqueness in Diversity”.
Foreign and Malaysian delegates from Soroptimist International, who were en route to Kuching for the conference, made a stopover in Ipoh on Saturday, April 26, to see SI Ipoh’s Edufun Centre in Taman Pertama.
The ladies, including SI President Ann Garvie, National Representative, of SI Malaysia Datin Indira Naidu and SI Region of Malaysia President Nora Lam, were all praises for the project.
Ann said that having seen how this project had positively impacted the participants and their families, she hoped SI Ipoh would establish similar centres in other underprivileged areas within Ipoh.
Datin Indira was impressed with the change in these children, who seemed a lot happier, confident and were able to communicate well. “They even have ambitions now.”
Nora felt that by embedding themselves in the community they serve, members of SI Ipoh are living by the motto of the club, “Educate to lead”.
“This is why this project has stood out among projects of other clubs in Malaysia,” she said.
Officially launched in November 2012, Edufun Centre currently caters to the needs of 25 children within the community of Bekor Flats, who are from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The boys and girls between the ages of 6 to 15 years are nurtured and empowered through education with better access to formal and non-formal learning opportunities. They are trained to be confident and disciplined.
The other two projects visited by the SI delegates were in Damansara and Seremban.
The Conference of Clubs is hosted in Malaysia for the second time. The current President of the Federation of South-West Pacific is Puan Sri Siew Yong Gnanalingam, the second Malaysian elected to this post. Thirteen countries make up South-West Pacific, including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
Soroptimist International’s mission is to transform the lives of women and girls through service projects, awareness-creating campaigns and advocacy efforts, particularly in education. It is a worldwide movement in 129 countries with some 80,000 members.
SI Ipoh President, Lanka Devi has this to say of the club’s immediate plans, “We hope to set up an Edufun Centre in Taman Mas within the next 12 months. Hopefully, well-wishers would come forward to chip in.
“The funds raised at the “Come Giggle Nibble for the Lovable” charity dinner last year were well-used to improve on the condition of this Centre in Taman Pertama, as well as on school fees, uniforms, transportation and materials.
“We’ve also started a sewing class for the children’s mothers, to help empower them economically and socially so they are able to sustain their families.”
For further information on SI Ipoh’s Edufun Centre, contact the club’s President Lanka Devi at 012-5190189 or President-Elect Jean Chai at 012-5882313.
Readers wishing to make monetary donations to support SI Ipoh’s Edufun Project can do so by depositing their money to the club’s Public Bank account: 3151382533.